R4A and UNECA partner to advance electricity market regulation for private sector investment

RES4Africa and UNECA partner to advance electricity market regulation for private sector investment

Addis Ababa, December 20, 2022 (ECA HQ) RES4Africa Foundation, in partnership with the Private Sector  Development and Finance Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), held a two days consultative meeting on African electricity markets regulatory reviews and proposal for a Continental  Regulatory Framework to Crowd-in Private Sector Investments in Africa’s electricity markets.  

The meeting gathered about 20 high-level representatives and experts of national electricity sector authorities  from more than 15 African countries discussing how to advance African electricity markets’ opennessattractiveness and readiness for private sector participation through fit-for-purpose policy and regulatory  reforms. A presentation of the R4A and UNECA led publications Regulatory Reviews of Electricity Market:  Towards Crowding-in Private Sector Investment was given with a focus on the new national assessments released on the side of the meeting, namely for: Kenya, Morocco, Senegal, D.R. Congo, Mozambique,  Seychelles, and Mauritania. The meeting also solicited technical inputs to the ECA and AUC Continental  Regulatory Framework for Crowding-in Private Sector Investment in Africa’s Electricity Markets, which had  RES4Africa among the main technical contributors. The Continental Regulatory Framework is on-going open  consultation among African stakeholders before submission to AU STC competent for energy.

The expert meeting marked another major milestone for the R4A-ECA partnership in disseminating the main  deliverables of their strategic partnership and engaging with national authorities to advance the electricity  reform agenda in Africa. It came after presentations of the Morocco’s Regulatory Review to national authorities  and electricity stakeholders on the 5th of October in Rabat, during the event "Accelerating the energy transition  in Morocco: Challenges and opportunities in a changing world”, and of the Senegal’s Regulatory Review during a  similar event held in Dakar on the 14th of October. The events, organized by RES4Africa and with the  participation of ECA, gathered eminent representatives from the national competent Ministries for energy  issues, national regulatory authorities and energy implementing agencies, public utilities and private sector  operators, as well as international organizations and institutions involved in supporting energy sector  development.

During the opening Ms. Karima Bounemra Ben Soltane, Director of IDEP, representing ECA in Senegal outlined  that “addressing regulatory barriers to private investment in the sector is essential, and ECA, including through  the capacity development efforts of IDEP, is ready to support member States in their quest for energy transition  and greater participation of the private sector.”  

Mr. Yohannes Hailu, Energy Policy Expert and Economic Affairs Officer with the Energy, Infrastructure and  Services Section of the Private Sector Development and Finance Division, stated that "regulation and enabling  environment is an essential part of the solution to scaling-up private sector investment in Africa’s electricity infrastructure, in generation assets, grid networks and off-grid and decentralized energy systems to advance the  goal of SDG7 by 2030. The thorough regulatory review for 16 African countries provides a regulatory improvement  pathway, and should be completed by capacity support on regulatory system development using the ECA RES4Africa regulatory analysis software (ROAR). Our work with AUC on a continental framework on regulation  and private sector participation also offer framework for partnering with member States towards regulatory  improvements in Africa to meet SDG7 goals through greater role of private sector investment." 

Mr. Roberto Vigotti, Secretary General RES4Africa, stated that “Energy plays an essential role in the socio economic development of a country and, in recent years, African governments have accelerated their efforts to  ensure universal access to electricity. However, despite undeniable progress, important structural challenges  remain. At RES4Africa, we are deeply aware of this primary urgency and through our strategic programme, the  Missing Link, kindly supported by the Enel Foundation, and our close partnership with UNECA we are working on  fostering public-private dialogue and building forward-looking conversations about the evolution of electricity  market regulation for private sector investment.” 

Read and download the regulatory analyses: Seychelles | Kenya | Mauritania | DRC |Mozambique | MoroccoSenegal

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Africa is a continent in continuous transformation, with a sustained economic and population growth, a fast-paced urbanization and a young generation of talents who is leading its business revolution. This transformation requires energy and will require it even more in the next decades.
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